Incest Subtext

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

The writers teasing with incestuous subtext in a story. Even though incest is a taboo everywhere in the world, nowadays it is not entirely impossible that authors try pandering to people with that fetish.

Probably many of these originate from the author's intention of playing with the characters' relationship, even though nothing serious was supposed to come out of it. In some movies, sitcoms, cartoons and anime, this is usually Played for Laughs and it sometimes involves Lampshade Hanging.

There is also another, inverted variation, when the attraction itself is textually there, but the characters are not literally blood related, so openly sexual relationships can also have incestuous subtext. For example, in Japanese works, girls might use Japanese Sibling Terminology for a guy (or especially a girl) they are in love with.

A Relative Error can come across this way (either intentionally or not) if the original "romantic" scene is a little too convincing. This fact is often played for laughs in a Digging Yourself Deeper speech: "It's Not What It Looks Like! She's my sister!" "...That's DISGUSTING!"

Compare Flirty Stepsiblings.

Examples of Incest Subtext include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Clannad, Tomoya once has a weird Imagine Spot about shipping Sunohara with his sister.
    • Tomoya seems to have a little sister kink in general, as he was very into it when Sunohara's little sister Mei started calling him 'niichan'. He doesn't actually have a little sister, though.
  • Bakugan: Mira is too obsessed with her brother. And Keith after meeting with Mira and accepting her on his side makes her wear dress and all dinner looks like... a date. When Keith becomes good they share some sweet moments and she even blushes then they talk. Squint at the final ending, they live together and their interaction isn't unlike those of newly married couple, and Gus is nowhere to be seen, so...
  • The Sailor Moon dub creates an interesting inversion with Haruka and Michiru/Amara and Michelle. The romantic subtext is meant to be there... but they're not cousins in the original -- they're a lesbian couple. The company that decide to make them cousins did so for the exact reason of preventing there being any openly gay people in the show, without actually changing enough other stuff to even try and hide how they feel for each other, just hoping no one would think it's odd for two cousins to be that devoted to each other. Cause, you know, having a clear subtext of an incestuous, gay, relationship is so much better then just an open gay one without the incest.
  • Many in Code Geass—of course, everybody already knows about Lelouch and memetic siscon, who started a war for his sister Nunnally's sake, but an even better example of this trope would have to be the last episode, where they both tell each other "I love you" using the Japanese terms aishiteru and aishite imasu, which are generally used for romantic affection. Lelouch has this with his half-sister Euphemia, as well.
  • As the title suggests, Sister Princess is full of this, particularly with the older sisters to their brother: one actively flirts with him, one gets from him a hairpin that used to be another man's gift to his wife, and one was his lover in a previous life. Oh, and all of them get to have a fake wedding with him. And that's just the start.
  • In Naruto, After he met his mom Kushina in the mindscape, the Naruto/Kushina subtext was really blatant, with him calling her a "babe", her blushing multiple times... Of course, this was probably due to her absence eliminating the possibility of the Westermarck Effect kicking in.
    • Also, Naruto only states this after Kushina told him that she considers herself unattractive.
  • Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru: Touko and Tsukumo are rather close. Also, if you count the equation 'Zweilt partner = Couple'...
  • Final Fantasy Unlimited has brothers Shiroi Kumo and Akai Kiri, who are so obsessed with each other that anything one of them does has something to do with the other in some way, shape, or form. At the start of the series, it has been twelve years since they've last seen each other, and hell, Kiri's been dead all that time, too. Their reunion features a lot of Say My Name and furiously clashing swords. Let's not even get into the soul dragons.
  • Pandora Hearts: Gil's younger brother, Vincent, is extremely possessive of him.
  • Yui and Ui from K-On! are very close... Both are extremely affectionate towards the other, Ui has ended up crying at the realization Yui will be/is gone on vacation. Ui's character song is literally titled "Lovely Sister LOVE" while Yui wrote what amounts to a love song to Ui... (Then again, she wrote one to her guitar, too...)
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam, there are rather questionable actions Gihren Zabi takes in the series concerning his sister Kycilia. Firstly there's the indifferent behavior Gihren has towards Garma and Dozle's deaths, and having no qualms with killing Degwin, but yet specifically stating that he plans to rule the new Zeon with "dear sister". Then also going out of his way to make sure Kycilia was warned about the Solar Ray firing by a messenger so she wouldn't be killed, the same weapon that intentionally killed daddy. And of course there's the dark tone of voice he used when Kycilia dared to mention having Char pilot the Zeong, saying "Char, once again. You're obsessed with him." Not coming to the logical conclusion that Kycilia might have chosen Char due to his newtype potential, but getting emotional over it instead. Completely one-sided, it's a mixture of Gihren imagining sexual tension to feed his fantasy because she shares some of his beliefs but of course cannot say anything about it. Kycilia is of course unaware to any of this conflict and rather cares more about their dead dad. Can lead to No Yay for obvious reasons.
  • The artists for both the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni manga and anime adaptations really played up the twincest in official art. It doesn't help that there actually is some subtext in the anime, even though both have male love interests.
    • In the original Visual Novel, Shion actually says to Mion that "If you were a guy, I would fall in love with you". Curiously, she did NOT add "and if we weren't related".
  • In D.Gray-man has Komui and Lenalee Lee has the room, that Komui designed for her. Their moments during the zombie arc don't help either.
  • Chiaki and Kana from Minami-ke seem to show rather unsisterly affections towards Haruka, regularly fawning over her and showering her with praise. Perhaps it might be because she's their Parental Substitute, but the Beach Episode is very suspect, where they're incredibly eager to see her in a bikini.
  • In My-HiME, there is some between Mai and her younger brother Takumi. Yuuichi and Akira both suspect that Takumi has a sister complex. Takumi is initially Mai's most important person (needed to summon her Child, although by the time he dies, Yuuichi has replaced him), and she becomes upset when he, seeking to become independent, appears to be drifting away from her.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion. There is some pretty heavy subtext between Shinji and Rei, and it's later revealed that Rei may or may not be his half-sister. In the manga, Rei shows signs of attraction and later even kills herself to save him; in Evangelion: 2.0, a jealous Asuka outright states that Rei loves him but doesn't realize it yet. What about Shinji? In the aforementioned film, Rei turns out to be his Berserk Button.
  • Pretty much the entire point of Please Twins!, although the two girls promise that whichever one is the sister can't be romantically involved with Maiku. Until they KNOW, though, both girls are very protective of another girl having a possible relationship with their possible brother. Of course, the series certainly implies that their promise wouldn't necessarily preclude the two girls being more than friendly with each other, especially given the amount of time they spend "skinshipping" together in the bath.
  • Mairu and Kururi from Durarara!! seem to go past subtext. The two share a kiss in the second OVA, and are particularly touchy-feely with each other if their dialogue in the chatroom is anything to go by. Even when the two of them kiss Aoba, Mairu is more excited about her Indirect Kiss with Kururi than anything else.
  • Venus Versus Virus has two twin characters, Luca and Laura, who have a.. Very close bond. It's a driving force in both the manga and anime, and it helps that the manga is a subtle Girls Love.
  • The manga for .hack//tasogare no udewa densetsu . The anime however, removes the subtext, causing fans to dub the series as .hack//Twincest.
  • In Monster, it's played with between twin siblings Johan and Anna/Nina. Johan has quite the obsession over Nina, and she is probably the only person in the world that he cares about enough for people to try to hold Nina hostage knowing that it'll lure Johan out and he's willing to eradicate his existence merely to make her happy; Nina initially cannot remember Johan due to a post-traumatic induced amnesia, and when he begins sending her anonymous "romantic" emails (e.g., "I was born to smother you with flowers."), she assumes that it's from a secret admirer.
  • Ouran High School Host Club has the Hitachin twins, Hikaru and Kaoru. While they do share a very strong bond, they play up the incestuous subtext when performing their duties for the club.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena, between the Kaoru siblings. Your Mileage May Vary on whether it still qualifies as subtext. Touga thinks he and Nanami have this and is very much mistaken. The less said about Akio and Anthy, the better, for sanity's sake, but needless to say it goes well beyond subtext and into text. Hell, it goes into 72-point bold headlines.
  • Rito and Mikan in To LOVE-Ru, particularly on Mikan's part, getting jealous and lonely when Rito pays attention to other girls. Then there is the time Rito said that he thought of Mikan as "a special existance beyond even a sibling" and you'll be forgiven for thinking that the subtext is pretty much text now.
  • Yuka from Elfen Lied has a very noticeable crush on her cousin Kouta.
  • The second episode of Saishuu Shiken Kujira has a scene with Mutsumi being woken up by his younger sister knocking on his door. As she's just as tired as he is, she falls on top of him as he goes to open the door, and he then spends a few moments thinking of how nice she smells, until he snaps out of it.
  • A good portion of Nisemonogatari has this.
  • There's a reason Edward and Al are a very popular pairing for Fullmetal Alchemist. It's even worse in the 2003 anime. Ed has at least three love interests but none of them get anywhere on screen. He spends a majority of the series, and the film, focusing on Al. A major complaint for the movie is how focused Edward is on Alphonse.
  • Episode 10 of Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb has a scene where Sae and, her younger sister, Chika are sleeping together. Sae offers to tangle legs with Chika.
  • Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai! runs on this trope, as Kirino's obsession with "little-sister" themed H-Games seems to contradict her adversarial relationship with her older brother Kyousuke, and there are eventually many incidents that indicate that it's more and more a front to hide her true feelings. And in at least one controversial official ending for the storyline, it stops being subtext at all.
  • Edward in Black Butler sees his sister Elizabeth as perfect in every way and even admits, apparently not realizing how abnormal he is being, that he doesn't really see others when she is present.
  • The Golden Sun Gag Battle 4koma doujinshi featured a comic in which Ivan uses his new "Reveal" power to spy through the clothes of Feizhi and Hama. In its defense, "Gag Battle" was published before The Lost Age was released, with the news that Hama is Ivan's sister...

Comic Books

  • Madame Mirage provides a peculiar example: after her sister Angie is murdered, Harper creates a hyper-sexualized holographic version of her, the eponymous Mirage, to avenge her. Harper's explanation is that with everyone paying attention to the impossibly well-endowed Femme Fatale Mirage, no one would be looking for scrawny little Harper. Except that Mirage still looks just like a hyper-sexualized version of Harper's sister Angie, when Harper could just as easily made her look like someone not connected to Harper in any way. So it kind of comes off as Harper acting out her repressed lust for Angie.
  • The villainous Puppeteer Parasite Abyss from the comic book Les Légendaires considers the former villain Tenebris to be his sister, due to both of them having been created artificially by their "father", the Evil Sorcerer Darkhell. However, the way he acts toward her (referring to her as "his" Tenebris, openly stating he loves her, restraining her with suspectly tentacle-like energy structures and forcibly opening her mouth with it...) sounds a lot more like some kind of twisted romantic love/sexual desire rather than brother affection...
  • In Fantastic Four: Unstable Molecules, Jonathan Storm has a crush on the comic book character Vapor Girl, unaware that she's based on his sister Susan Storm. If it comes to that, in the real Marvel Universe, Johnny married (a Skrull impersonating) Alicia Masters, who looked so much like Sue that in her first appearance her own family couldn't tell them apart if Alicia wore a wig.

Fan Works

  • In How I Became Yours: Rise of the Agni Army, brother-and-sister Kuzon and Lilith share a room despite being in their late teens/early adulthood, their beds not five feet away from each other. And Kuzon's dialogue to Lilith regarding her bad dreams sounds closer to what a concerned boyfriend would say, not a big brother. And hell, there hasn't been much more Incest Subtext, but the WMG folder for the page already has theories that the siblings will marry their cousins due to there being no other cast members in the Five-Man Band.


  • The Prentiss family in The Manchurian Candidate. (There was a novel, too, in which the incest is quite explicitly mentioned.) The original film version showed a very possessive and not at all chaste kiss between Eleanor and her son Raymond, and the 2004 remake featured heavy subtext in every scene that showed them together, including some very ambiguous touching and kissing moments.
  • High School Musical: Sharpay and Ryan Evans have a disturbingly close relationship. Heck, their first duet is a love song according to Kelsi. The twins just changed it around a bit so it didn't sound so romantic. When Troy and Gabriella sing it correctly, it's clearly a love song.
    • The only difference is a more upbeat tempo. Lyrics are the same.
    • Additionally, a joke is made at one point saying that if Sharpay could play both Romeo and Juliet, her brother would be out of a job. Which is a nice joke until you realize that means that the twins have no problem playing romantic roles with each other. What makes the whole scenario stranger is that Ryan was very clearly written to be the group's token gay member. It's only implied, but implied quite strongly.
    • Even worse if you take in the fact that "I Can't Keep My Eyes Off of You" (which never made it to the movie—it only appears on the first CD) is a quartet with duets between "Troy" and "Gabriella" and then "Sharpay" and "Ryan" (with only a few parts being the four singing together).
      • The video even includes a few moments from the movie put in shippy context.
  • House of Wax is filled with the twincesty subtext between Nick and Carly. Obvious from a mile away.
  • Many Star Wars fans noticed Leia's later claim, that she had "always known" that Luke is her brother. Even when she was making out with him?
  • At the end of Serenity, River is shown watching curiously from an air vent as Kaylee and Simon have sex.

Simon: "It's just not something brothers and sisters do. I mean, on some planets... but only pretty bad ones."

    • Their relationship in general throughout the series is ... greatly textured, mixing sibling, parent, doctor, and lover roles with the necessary abandon. Simon and his mei-mei are all each other have in the world. And when River's upset or sick, it's her brother's bed she curls up in.
  • Hellboy II: Prince Nuada seems to have a lot of sexual tension going with his sister Princess Nuala. The presence of implied incest was confirmed by Nuada's actor.
    • The incest subtext is particularly evident in the scene where Nuada learns of the attraction between Abe and Nuala; Nuada's reaction is more like that of a jealous lover than a brother defending his sister's honor.
  • In the French-Canadian movie C.R.A.Z.Y., the tension between the main character Zac and his older brother Raymond can be interpreted as to being of a sexual nature, at least in part. It's strongly implied that Zac, well, takes pleasure out of seeing his brother having sex with different girls in multiple occasions. It gets even more interesting once it's clear that Zac is, indeed, gay. So who exactly was turning him on?
    • Raymond also teases Zac by proposing to give him a blowjob, although that was probably supposed to be an attack to his sexuality rather than an in-university acknowledgment of the Incest Subtext.
  • Ginger Snaps. Specifically, when Ginger is heading towards full transformation, she crawls over to and on top of her sister and whispers "It's like we're not even related anymore..."
  • Two words... Elbow Sex!!!
  • The first love interest in Jean-Pierre Meleville's crime thriller Le Samouraï was cast because she looked like she could be the sister of Alain Delon, and Melville wanted that sort of awkwardness in their relationship. Made even more bizarre because she was Delon's real-life wife.
  • In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince there's a moment where Bellatrix gets a little too close to her nephew, Draco, whispering in his ear and kissing his shoulder. He looks hilariously creeped out.
  • Charlie tries this in Mystery Team. It doesn't work.
  • The Boondock Saints. That is all.
  • Conan the Barbarian (2011). Daddy's Little Villain tells her father (who is seeking to resurrect his dead wife) that she can do everything her mother could—she's referring to her magic powers, but there's a clear sexual vibe as well.
  • The 1992 French movie L'Amant (The Lover, adapted from the eponymous novel by Marguerite Duras). The female protagonist has a sexual vibe with her younger brother—the sight of the two of them dancing closely is enough to drive the titular character to a jealous fury.
  • All That Jazz flaunts this trope so flagrantly. Joel Gideon is a ceaseless womaniser and his daughter is a blossomingly beautiful young lady. In more than one scene she deliberately makes him feel awkward by talking about sex. Better still is the scene where they dance together, specifically because it shows how comfortable they are with eachothers' bodies in a non-sexual capacity. The fact that the jailbait daughter is so unmistakably beautiful and sex is such a recurring theme in the film leaves you actively looking for the sexual subtext, but as they dance they talk exactly how you expect a father and daughter to talk. By placing the ideas of "family" "dancing" and "sexuality" in our minds the film highlights how un-confused the issues are in the minds of the characters. Dancing is not sex, dancing is dancing.
  • In the beginning of the film version of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (from The Chronicles of Narnia), there is a scene where Lucy sees a girl flirting with a boy, then she does the exact same gesture that girl did... in front of Edmund. This results in him frowning confused and asking her what she's doing, to which she widens her eyes and blurts "nothing" guiltily, giving the impression that she actually tried to flirt with him for a moment. The explanation is given later.
  • in Snow White and the Huntsman, Queen Ravenna's relationship with her brother Finn flirts with incest several times. Especially when Ravenna bathes in front of him and, later, he gives her a not-so-brotherly kiss on the shoulder.
  • Between Claudia and her brother Gustav in Snow White a Tale of Terror. She kisses him at one point, though he's rather terrified. It's also clear Frederich saw his late wife when he danced with Lilli. So does Claudia.


  • Lampshaded, deliberately played up, and generally mocked in The Dresden Files. Harry and Thomas live together for quite a while, and are often Mistaken for Gay by the (many) people who don't know they're half-brothers. This is made even worse by Thomas's sense of humor and the fact that he's a White Court vampire, so even straight guys are attracted to him. The whole situation is the source of much lulz. Of course, much of the humor was basically Queer People Are Funny, so it sometimes came across as rather homophobic.
  • The Vampire Chronicles has Lestat and his mother Gabrielle. Lestat is clearly Gabrielle's favorite, she even refers to him as the male part of her. The first person Lestat turns into a vampire is Gabrielle, and during their time as vampire companions Lestat referred to them as lovers.
  • In The Outsiders, the Curtis brothers have so much of this going on, it's incredible. Ponyboy describes Sodapop as "looking like a movie star", and they also sleep in the same bed with much cuddling and even late night talks about love. Not to mention the way Ponyboy describes his brothers' relationship can be really reminiscent of a couple of teenage parents. And we should not forget that scene when Soda is giving Darry a back massage.
  • Splinter of the Mind's Eye is a Star Wars Expanded Universe novel written shortly after A New Hope and before Luke and Leia were known to be twins. And Han Solo is nowhere to be seen. Consequently, there is an amazing degree of UST in the book, though Luke nobly refrains from kissing Leia while she's asleep and vows to protect her from everything, including himself.

The Princess caught him with a hand, her weight halting his slide. Now Luke rolled clear, came to a panting stop on her chest.
For a long moment they lay like that, suspended in time. Then their eyes met with a gaze that could have penetrated light-years.

    • The comic book adaptation -- which came out after Return of the Jedi -- doesn't have nearly as much Incest Subtext, since it has much less in the way of narration. But the twins hold or touch each other often, and when Luke thinks he's dying he tells her he loves her.
    • The idea that she'd "always known" throws this line into a new light.

The Princess grew aware of how tightly she was clinging to him. Their proximity engendered a wash of confused emotion. It would be proper to disengage, to move away a little. Proper, but not nearly so satisfying.

  • Brambleclaw and Hawkfrost of Warrior Cats, who are half-brothers. Brambleclaw chose to trust Hawkfrost over Squirrelflight, his Love Interest, and trusted Hawkfrost completely up until he tried to make him kill his leader. Even though it was hinted at that Hawkfrost was evil.
  • Pick a Eugene O'Neill play, any Eugene O'Neill play. Odds are you're going to encounter a seriously dysfunctional family vibe, owing to O'Neill's own deep-seated mommy issues, and the fact that he was heavily influenced by Greek theatre, home of the original Oedipus and Electra. The Incest Subtext is particularly heavy in Mourning Becomes Electra, a theatrical trilogy which moves the plot of the classic Orestia to Civil War era New England. To try to sum up the tangle of dysfunction: Lavinia Mannon appears to be totally in love with her father, General Ezra Mannon, and hateful to her mother-in-law Christine. Christine murders Ezra, so she can be with the handsome young sailor Adam Brant, but also dotes on her son Orin in an entirely unmotherly way. Orin (suffering mental trauma from his time on the battlefield) returns the affection, but Lavinia manages to enlist him against his mother by informing him about Christine's affair, which sends him into a rage which clearly has more to do with jealousy than any kind of familial loyalty. After Christine is driven to suicide, Orin seems to waver between wanting to kill his sister, and wanting to sexually dominate her. Suffice it to say, Eugene O'Neill was not a happy man.
  • While A Song of Ice and Fire has quite a lot of explicit and confirmed incest between certain characters, there are also certain points which fit this trope. One example is during one of Arianne Martell's POV chapters, she remembers that when she was younger (though we don't know exactly how young) she was travelling through the desert with her uncle Oberyn and her cousins, and she daydreamed about a desert bandit kidnapping her and having his way with her. Judging from the description of the bandit, she imagined him looking a lot like her uncle Oberyn. She feels very uncomfortable about remembering this, so she is clearly aware of what such a daydream implies.
    • Aeron "Damphair" Greyjoy has a deep-seated hatred and terror of his brother Euron, and associates him with the scream of a rusted hinge, and memories of waking up in the night and thinking "Euron has come again". Though it is not stated explicitly, one can assume that he was sexually abused by his brother.
    • Another example, when Victarion Greyjoy and his niece Asha are arguing over who might rule the ironborn, she offers to help him rule as his Hand of the King. Since this is not a tradition of the ironborn, Victarion at first thinks that when she talks of "ruling beside him" she means being his queen. He finds himself getting aroused at the thought before reminding himself that she is his niece.
    • Teased with Asha and Theon, when he first arrives at Pyke. They go on a horseback ride together and there is a lot of fondling going on and she even grabs his erection a few times. This was done deliberately by Asha posing as a shipwright's wife named Esgred in order to find out his plans. When Theon finds out who she really is, Theon is incredibly disturbed.
    • Though they are not related by blood, Littlefinger is Sansa Stark's uncle through marriage, and it is very clear to her and the reader that he is sexually interested in her. Not only is he legally her uncle, but she is currently pretending to be his daughter, and addresses him as "father".
    • When Tyrion is confronting his sister, Cersei, about her Twincestuous relationship with Jaime, he says that it "seems unfair that she should open her legs for one brother and not the other". While he was clearly trying to enrage and mock her, if he had been aware of their incest while growing up with them, it would make sense that his own sexuality might be affected by it.
      • Also, while he is planning his revenge on his family from exile he mentions that he wants to rape and murder his sister. While he would be quite happy to kill her, it is unknown if he was being serious about raping her, and even if he was, it would probably be from a wish to hurt and degrade her as much as possible rather than from any true sexual desire.
      • Seems to be reciprocated, as when Cersei's paranoia gets really bad she's prone to nightmares which often feature Tyrion in disturbingly sexual situations.
      • Another example from Tyrion comes when Cersei has taken his mistress (she thinks) as a hostage, and Tyrion has her youngest son under his own control, he tries to ensure the woman's safety by saying that whatever happens to her would happen to his nephew, including any beating or rapes (though it is made indisputably clear to the reader that this is just a bluff rather than a serious threat).
    • Lysa and Robert (Robin in the series) Arryn straddle the line between this and outright Parental Incest. When Catelyn visits the Eyrie she's nursing him. He's eight! Later when he goes off to bath it's implied that she'll be washing him.
  • In the Chronicles of the Kencyrath series, there's plenty of in-story subtext between Jamie and her brother Torisen, to the point that characters comment on it. One fan theory is that their mother Jamiethiel had the power to deliberately get pregnant with twins, and literally made Torisen as the perfect mate for Jamie, so she would become blood-bound to him before her uncle Gerridon could claim her.

Live Action TV

  • The relationship between Justin and Alex (Jalex) on the Disney comedy Wizards of Waverly Place was so filled with subtext it was the only show to get its own sub-page for it, the contents of which can now be found on that show's Analysis page.
    • And it wasn't just a Relationship Writing Fumble either. By the time the biggest subtext scene -- the campfire in The Movie -- came around, everyone including the writers knew about the pairing, fandom and existing subtext, so it's quite possible the subtext from The Movie onwards is completely real and put there by the writers. It got to a point where it's possible the Disney Execs found out, and did some Executive Meddling to reduce the amount of Jalex scenes and plots in subsequent episodes.
  • Married... with Children: Bud and Kelly slightly. Bud always rags on her skankiness, Kelly has many comments about his sex life (she seems to be jealous of his blow-up doll). She enjoys when he acknowledges her hotness or achievements. They also touch each other a lot.
    • "If you weren't my brother..." after Bud does something really nice. Yow.
    • In one episode, she seductively leaves lipstick marked kisses on him. Together they create the Bundy Bounce and she has him drooling. A date (Corey Feldman) disses Kelly cause she won't put out, so Bud purposely gives him the measles. Kelly cruelly gets revenge for Bud on a girl who humiliated him.
  • Unintentional BSI vibe surfaced on 7th Heaven frequently, often in the guise of wacky hi-jinx.
    • In the pilot episode Mary asks her brother Matt to help her practice kissing. Their father walks in on them before anything happens. Reportedly, the script actually called for them to kiss, but Jessica Biel and Barry Watson refused to do it.
    • The seven siblings all had active, obsessive interests in the sex lives of their brothers and sisters.
    • In the episode in which Lucy gives birth, brother Matt takes her shopping and the store employees assume they are married. Rather than say "He's my brother," Lucy replies that they are not married, leaving the store employees to assume they have a sexual relationship. While in labor in a stuck elevator, Lucy insists on Matt (in training to be an OBGYN) be the one to deliver her baby even though there are trained, non-related paramedics in the elevator.
  • The Petrelli brothers on Heroes. The amount of subtext between Nathan and Peter made Petrellicest the most popular slash pairing in the fandom.
    • Peter and Claire had the most sexual tension and chemistry out of any two on the show. Too bad they made them Uncle and Niece. Although this did not stop them from dating in real life
  • All of the sisters in Charmed get a load of this. They spend a lot of time holding hands and saying how much they love each other. Also, Phoebe taught Prue French kissing apparently, and Piper and Prue had a lot of married-couple type habits from all the years they've spent living together.
  • Whilst not to the level of Jalex, the Sparly pairing in iCarly has some similar moments, especially in the first couple seasons.
  • In the Victorious episode "Birthweek Song", Tori's present to her sister Trina is a hot song-and-dance number which includes her sitting on her sister's lap. Whilst wearing an extremely short sparkly cocktail dress.
  • In the Degrassi the Next Generation movie thing where Fiona, Declan, Holly J and Jane go to New York, Fiona gets so jealous of her Declan's relationship with Holly J that she full on kisses Declan on the lips.
    • Though that was partially a rash decision Fiona did while she was drunk.
  • Kamen Rider Kabuto has a lot of Ship Tease between Tendou and Hiyori, although Hiyori is a Worm so they're not blood-related, but she's mimicking the girl who would have been his sister. Even Tendou's dark self's existance revolved around her while again, they're technically not blood-related: Dark Tendou is also a Worm, but he is a mimic of Tendou. On top of that, early on in the show before The Reveal, some of the characters, like the owner of Bistro La Salle and Juka, refer them as boyfriend and girlfriend. Tendou, of course, doesn't deny this. Hilariously, Sean Wiig, the actor of Tendou's child self, even believed that Tendou and Hiyori were dating.
    • Ship Tease involving siblings (and, in one case, an uncle and niece) is very common in Heisei-era Kamen Rider series. Prominent examples are Taiga and Wataru in Kiva, Ryotaro and Hana in Den-O, Maki and his sister and Hina and Ankh (who is possessing her brother's body) in OOO, and Philip and Wakana in Double.
  • Reese kissing Malcolm, saying he wants them to be together forever, and getting jealous over Malcolm's relationship with Stevie inspires fans of Malcolm in the Middle to think this about their relationship.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: There are elements of this between Buffy and Dawn; Buffy does seem overly physically affectionate when it comes to Dawn, and one episode even draws explicit parallels between Buffy/Dawn and Willow/Tara.

Willow: I have to look after her [Tara]. She's my girl.
Buffy: (stroking Dawn's hair) I know what you mean.

    • Joss even jokes about it in commentary for "The Gift". It's clearly intentional.
      • And in "Intervention"

Buffy: I love you, Dawn. You know that, right?
Dawn: Yeah. I love you too.
Buffy: I love you ... really love you.
Dawn: (nervous grin) Gettin' weird.
Buffy: Sorry. But it's important that I tell you. Weird love's better than no love.

    • One scene (in the seventh season episode "Him") Xander (and Willow) is checking out a girl, before it's revealed to be Dawn.

Xander: (horrified) Oh... oh no! Daddy no... I wasn't... when I was lookin' I wasn't... oh God!
Willow: (ashamed) Right there with ya.

    • Also in Buffy, Spike's relationship with his mother (whom he sired so they could be together forever) is called out explicitly as incestuous desire, although how much of that was William and how much was the demon is never made clear.
    • Similarly crossing over to Angel Drusilla has sex with Angel several times and frequently calls him "daddy" (because he sired her) and she also calls Darla "grandmother", whom she shares a lot of Les Yay with.
  • In Merlin we have half-sisters Morgana and Morgause. Their secret meetings can be seen as not unlike secret lovers having an affair.
    • Although, due to the revelation of Morgana being Uther's daughter, we can't be sure if Morgana and Morgause are actually related any more. They certainly seem to consider themselves sisters, though.
      • Also due to that revelation, Morgana and Arthur's season one Ship Tease retroactively counts as this.
  • In Shake It Up there's a line where Tinka tells her brother Gunther (who's her dance partner) they can't get married. He looks heartbroken.
  • This is joked about several times in Supernatural. In "The Monster at the End of This Book", Sam and Dean discover a series of novels detailing their exploits has accumulated a fandom, including in-universe Sam/Dean shippers. In the episode "The Real Ghostbusters", the two guys Cosplaying as Sam and Dean turn out to be a couple.
  • All over The Borgias, but well, there's a reason for that. There's Cesare/Lucrezia, where Lucrezia claims she'll never love a husband the way she loves Cesare, and where Cesare promises to cut her husband's heart out with a dinner knife. There's Vannozza/Cesare, who spend the most time together of the parents/children and whom Cesare brings to Lucrezia's wedding despite his father's wishes. There's Cesare/Juan, with Juan getting the life Cesare wants and Cesare reluctantly cleaning up his brother's mistakes. And there's Rodrigo/Lucrezia, with their cuddling and kissing and the way Lucrezia clearly has her father wrapped around her little finger. Besides, when your cast looks like this [dead link] (all but the lady in blue are related somehow), this trope's inevitable.
  • In The Waltons, there were a few instances when John-Boy (the eldest son and narrator) and his mother, Olivia seemed to share more than just parent-child closeness. One notable example is the birthday episode when he reads a poem to her, a love poem nonetheless. They interact more like a couple during that scene than a mother and son.
  • This is played for laughs quite a bit on Arrested Development.
  • Jimmy and Gillian Darmody on Boardwalk Empire are frequently mistaken for husband and wife or brother and sister. They're actually mother and son; Gillian was fourteen when she got pregnant with Jimmy. The subtext was never really "sub" - Gillian is introduced glomping Jimmy while wearing only pasties and a g-string - but they played with the Hamlet and Macbeth parallels in season two as Jimmy's taken over Atlantic City and Gillian's become a world-class combination of Lady Macbeth and Gertrude.
  • In Coronation Street Julie and Jason get drunk and spend a night on the couch together. When Julie's mother Paula finds out about this she is horrified...and drops the bombshell that Jason and Julie are actually related as Paula had sex with Jason's grandfather when she was fourteen and got pregnant with Julie. It's then quickly revealed that Jason and Julie didn't actually sleep together.
  • In The New Adventures of Old Christine, there's a lot of incestuous subtext between Christine and her brother Matthew. There was even a scene in which Christine made out with him though it turned out to be a dream.
  • This is a plot point in the Friends episode "The One with the Inappropriate Sister". Rachel's date Danny seems to just be extremely close to his sister, until at the coffee house when he licks icing from her fingers, then she drops it on his pants and wipes it off, then they go upstairs to change pants. When Rachel finally goes to break up with him, Danny and his sister are about to take a bath together.
  • On Fuller House, Kimmy volunteers to be Stephanie's surrogate so she can raise the baby with Kimmy's brother Jimmy. when Kimmy tells Fernando about her pregnancy and the baby is her brother's, he mistakenly took it literally and says:

"Ewwwwwww?, That's so weird even for the Kibbler family."


  • Many of the great love-ballads of the 1970's were duets performed by the brother/sister duo Carpenters. Richard did not get along with Karen's husband (who she was in the process of divorcing when she died), and Richard didn't get married until after Karen died.

Professional Wrestling

  • Kayfabe siblings Paul Burchill and Katie Lea debuted a controversial angle in 2008 that implied incest between the two of them, with Katie calling Paul "beautiful" and talking about how she enjoys watching him inflict pain. Paul's Catch Phrase would then be "whatever Katie wants, Katie always gets". WWE just happened to be going PG that year so the incest part of their pairing was dropped before anything big happened.
  • This was one of the original plans for the Sable/Tori feud back in 1999 where Tori was going to be revealed to be Sable's sister, making the stalking that little more creepy. They scrapped that idea and just made Tori an obsessed fan instead.


  • It's not in the original play, but Roméo et Juliette, de la Haine à l'Amour has Tybalt in love with his cousin Juliette as well. The Darker and Edgier Hungarian adaptation expands on this by having him also suffer from severe UST with his aunt Lady Capulet. (And from epilepsy. He's troubled.)
  • A recent production of Don Pasquale where Norina and Malatesta gave off some... interesting vibes while going over their plan for her to trick the titular don. He does seem very enthusiastic in teaching her to seduce men, and even refers to her affectionately as a "little vixen" at one point.(It helped that both the actors were friends IRL, and both ridiculously hot.)
  • Rampant in Electra. Electra's relationship to her dead father is slightly unhealthy and has some incestuous undertones. Her relationship to her brother is all undertones.
    • In Freudian psychology, the female equivalent to the Oedipus complex is called the "Elektra complex". The more you know.
  • Many productions emphasize the highly-charged, ultra-possessive relationship between Hamlet and Gertrude. Partially Justified in that Hamlet is trying to live up to his father's image
    • Some productions imply a similar relationship between Ophelia and Laertes, possibly to emphasize his role as a Foil to Hamlet.
  • Like Hamlet, Gabe of Next to Normal is terribly possessive of his mother. They even slow dance together at one point. Given that Diana's in the grips of severe delusions and manic episodes, she probably doesn't care about the Unfortunate Implications of holding her son a bit too close.

Video Games

  • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones gives us the twin siblings Eirika and Ephraim, whose in-game supports all but outright spell it out. Their end-game weapons are even named after a pair of incestuous twins.
    • By the present events of Path of Radiance, disaster has left the continent with no more than ten herons. Five of the survivors left are related to each other. If they don't die out then it will be because of...
      • In the sequel Radiant Dawn, if you get an A-rank support bond between Naesala and Leanne (the former is a crow and the latter is one of the herons) their ending reveals that herons can be born in mixed marriages.
  • Creepily invoked in Shin Megami Tensei II when you find out that Hiroko, the heroine is actually your protagonist's mother. Given the two of you are pretty close already, work together, are the same age, never stray from each other (she follows you on all game paths), those who don't get squicked out by the fact the whole thing is an expy of you being Jesus and her a Virgin Mary stand in will probably start shipping them together.
  • Final Fantasy X; ignoring Brother's blatant squicky crush on his cousin Yuna, his sister Rikku has a few Les Yay moments with Yuna herself including a Hot Spring scene where she looks down at Yuna's boobs and says "I know who's got it going on".
  • Ragna the Bloodedge and Jin Kisaragi from BlazBlue, though Jin's depravities take this close to being canon.
    • To be more specific, Ragna is portrayed as being almost Asexual, as we can see from the fact that he shows no interest in guys and not even the Boobie Lady of all people can tempt him. Jin's obsession with him, however, means that it's canon for one of them.
    • Without Yukianesa warping his feelings, Jin is actually straight... Unfortunally for Ragna, the game developers fickin' love using Yukianesa to warp Jin's feelings.
  • The Fatal Frame games seem to love this trope, especially the second game, which may as well be called "Fatal Frame 2: Subtextual Twincest for the Win".
  • In Suikoden Tierkreis, Chrodechild and Fredegund... really care for each other, though the subtext mostly comes from the latter. Asad hilariously lampshades this near the end of the game, where he states he initially considered Meruvis as his rival, but now sees Fredegund as a larger threat.
    • Suikoden V has Frey and Lymsleia, not helped by the fact that the latter is ten years old. Early in the game, Lymsleia thinks she'll have to marry Frey if he wins the Sacred Games for her hand (Miakis was having a little fun with her), and later she asks if she can sleep with him. ...No, not that way, she's just cold and scared in an unfamiliar place. In the Golden Ending, Frey is appointed Commander of the Queen's Knights, the traditional position of the Queen's husband.
  • Tales of Symphonia: Mithos is just a little too obsessed with his sister. To the point where he's spend the last four millennia trying to bring her back to life.
  • Chrono Trigger has Magus (Janus) obsessed with trying to save/avenge/find/ Schala. He would even blow up the world to do it.
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni Episode 5 gives us this between Battler and Rosa: "Even though she was my aunt, she gave me a wink that would have made a man's heart jump."
  • Liquid Snake and Solid Snake. Not so much in Metal Gear Solid, although he's such an enormous Large Ham that most of his lines sound flirty, but in Metal Gear Solid 4 there's Squicky scenes where he sniffs Snake's hair, blows kisses at him, and grapples him from behind while Snake is helpless and simply begging him to stop. Although, when they do actually kiss, Liquid is definitely not Liquid any more.
  • Alfred in Resident Evil Code: Veronica has an unhealthy devotion to Alexia which sure seems like incestuous feelings. Alexia is aware of this and exploits them to her own ends.
  • Played for Laughs in Asuka Kazama's ending in Tekken 5. Asuka defeats Jin Kazama (her cousin, although she wasn't aware of the connection until 6) and, trying to wake him, accidentally undoes his Devil Jin transformation. When he tries to get up in a hurry, he trips over her and lands face-down in her boobs. There's no way to really interpret Asuka's initial facial impression afterwards; it could be shock, embarrassment, or begrudging attraction... but then she turns violently angry and punches him for being a "pervert."
  • Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. Cheryl really loves her daddy. Even if there were no incestuous feelings, the appearance could not have been accidental.
  • This is the impression many get upon playing through the story of Soulcalibur V. Not only is Patroklos saddled with an Oedipus Complex for his deceased mother Sophitia (to the point that Elysium, the spirit of Soul Calibur, can manipulate him purely by assuming his mother's form and beckoning to him), but his interactions with Pyrrha tend to carry an incestuous undercurrent as well. To be fair, Patroklos grew up raised by his father Rothion, who told him stories about his mother, spurring Patroklos to follow in her path as a holy warrior, whereas Pyrrha was stolen away from her family at a young age, but their affection, which should be a strong case of storge, goes on a crash collision with Relationship Writing Fumble and veers right into eros territory.
  • Furiae toward Caim (one-sided) in the US version of Drakengard — in the Japanese version, it was less subtext and more text.

Web Comic

  • Grim Tales from Down Below gives Mini Mandy who seems to only want to get her brother's praise.
  • The subtext in Absolute Hot Sister is very obviously this. It seems Ellen is really intent on starting a relationship with her brother, even suggesting they sleep in the same bed (she sleeps nude, of course) and shower together.
  • There's some of this in Homestuck due to the somewhat late enforcement of Everyone Is Related. Dave and Rose had a rather snarkily flirty thing going on occasionally before it was revealed they were siblings, while John and Jade were also quite close, including one early flash of John falling asleep and seeing Jade in his dreams while romantic music played. (Of course, that was because he had finally awakened on Prospit and was seeing the future, but still.) Dave also apparently used to make sexual comments about Rose's mum to freak her out. Later, Rose reveals that the 'choice babe in the pajamas' Dave asked about was actually the teen version of their biological mother and Dave complains about the game deliberately setting them up with family members:

DAVE: all these fuckin
DAVE: momtraps and sistertraps
DAVE: what a joke i hope skaia gets to have a good laugh over shit like this
DAVE: wait i forgot skaia doesnt laugh it just "sees" and "knows"
DAVE: its like a huge blue perv thats mad jazzed for kidcest

Web Original

  • The Gemini monster from the online game UniCreatures is a pair of magical twin sisters. In their early forms, they don't look particularly yay-y, but in their final stage, they embrace delicately in a Girls Love-like pose, and have Flavor Text about how they "find time just for the two of them."
  • Doug and Rob Walker, of That Guy With The Glasses fame. They managed to go from "I love you, man, you're a kick-ass brother" to "Gay and incestuous! You heard it here, folks!" in about two minutes, via a discussion of Doug's balls. The DVD also has Doug stripping slowly out of wet clothes while Rob films and hums supposedly stripper music, bantering back and forth with lines like "I'm saving this for our honeymoon" and "You know you want this shit".

Western Animation

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender always had a significant Azula/Zuko shipper fandom, but the creators surely aren't making it too difficult with such scenes (appropriate music added). They have even (jokingly?) shipped Zuko's alter ego with Azula at a convention. On the flip side, Azula acts that way to just about everyone.
    • Fridge Brilliance: Some psychiatrists theorize that incest is one of the ways children may respond to parental abuse or neglect. (The short version: Sex = happiness, so sex + dysfunctional family = functional family.) Ozai abused and manipulated both, but while Zuko at least had Ursa and Iroh, Azula had no one. Given the other ways Ozai messed her up, is it really that big a stretch?
  • In Transformers Animated, Jetfire and Jetstorm are twin flying Autobots who call each other "brother" instead of their real names, are very protective of each other, share a friendly rivalry that doesn't really mean anything, and are almost never seen without the other (presumably because they might die as a result). Twincest between the two abounds on
  • Dee Dee and Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory invoke this trope once in a while, especially since Dee Dee seems to prefer Dexter over every guy that may be a possible Love Interest, due to the fact that every time guys (particularly Mandark) flirt with her, she sticks to Dexter. One obvious scene is the one in which Dexter and Mandark compete to save Dee Dee and, after she is saved by both, she is disgusted by Mandark, but kisses Dexter on the cheek. In another episode, Dexter becomes an adult to seduce a girl he likes, but guess who ends up attracted to him instead? Dee Dee.
  • There is some of this with Sally and Dr. Finklestein in The Nightmare Before Christmas possibly. In the DVD Commentary, Tim Burton refers to Sally as a daughter—yet there's lines in-film like "You're mine, you know!" and "You can make other creations!" that really doesn't sound like a rebellious-daughter/overprotective-dad relationship, but like something else entirely. Consider that the creation Dr. Finklestein makes to replace Sally looks awfully like a wife -- that looks exactly like him—and that an alternate ending had Oogie Boogie be Dr. Finklestein, jealous that Sally chose Jack over him. In an earlier script, the father/daughter relationship was a lot more obvious with lines like "I'm grown up now. I'll have to leave sometime" . . . yet there are bits like The scientist smiles, feeling Sally under his sway again that sounds rather creepy.
    • It becomes far creepier in the sequel novel Long Live the Pumpkin Queen If this is considered canon, he kidnapped her when she was an infant. From her actual parents.
  • This trope creeps into An American Tail in an eerily interesting and squicky way when you consider the song that the two siblings Fievel and Tanya sing to each other, "Somewhere Out There", was turned into a straight love song by Linda Ronstadt in an effort to make it a Breakaway Pop Hit, and not a single word needed to be changed.
    • To add to it, mice have no issue with incest. Speaking as someone who has bred them, they actually seem more inclined to mate with members of their litter than they are with non-relatives.
  • In one episode of Blinky Bill, Shifty gets a little affectionate with his big sister Daisy, licking her like a puppy-dog in the Wedding Picnic episode.
  • The Amazing Chan and The Chan Clan has almost no fandom and was made long before the internet and Rule 34, but Tom still manages to have a few choice moments with Alan and have a dynamic with Anne that sometimes screams "they'd be strongly hinted at as a couple if they weren't siblings".
  • Phineas and Ferb featured a song called "Gitchi-Gitchi-Goo". It was sung by siblings (Phineas and Candace) with hearts at background, glitter dust etc. Part of its lyrics are "Bow-Chicka-Bow-Wow" -- commonly known as the verbalization of a typical 1970s porn soundtrack. By siblings, hmmmm...
    • The extended version includes these lyrics accompanied by a number of tender looks on Candace's part:

Phineas: Oh I don't know what to do.
Candace: I don't know what to do.
Phineas: But I think I'm getting through.
Candace: I think I'm getting through.

  • Ruby-Spears' Megaman and Protoman had something going on beyond rivalry, even without taking into account that last fight scene in "Bro Bots" (or hell, the entire episode). They spend just as much time trying to convince the other to defect to their side as they do shooting at each other, and Proto won't let any other Wily-bot touch Mega ("Just remember--Megaman is mine!"). Plus, he seems rather disinterested in getting his sister to join Wily.
  • He-Man and She-Ra are basically all over each other when they appear together. When riding on horseback He-Man hugs her very tightly from behind, looking a bit more comfortable than a normal sibling would. But then again, He-Man rides a horse this way with everyone, including males.
  • The first episode of the original 1980s ThunderCats, Wilykat at one point tells his sister Wilykit "You're beautiful when you snarl." It seems Moral Guardians caught on to this, as it was cut from later airings and the DVD.
    • Coincidentally, the first episode of the 2011 ThunderCats reboot had this exchange between Tygra and Lion-O, who are now adoptive brothers:

Lion-O: I'm gonna ring that bell.
Tygra: And I'm gonna ring yours. *wink*

  • Now, remember that "got his bell rung" is an American footballer's euphemism for "severe concussion". Better be worth it, that's all I'll say.
  • Extremely prevalent in Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure. It stops just short of being text, but the eponymous siblings share a love song ("Candy Hearts And Paper Flowers"), and they have a habit of hugging in ways not commonly seen between siblings (but rather frequently seen in pairs with a rather different relationship, if you get my drift).
  • Phil and Lil of the Rugrats, which is a bit strange since they're only one year old. One episode has the babies put on a High School Dance in the garden and Phil takes Lil. Another episode has them pretending to be lovers in a soap opera.
  • In Superfriends, the Wonder Twins had were more Like an Old Married Couple than any siblings. (Not that real siblings never act in a manner fitting that trope. But these two were really written like a couple in an old-time sitcom sometimes.)
  • In the Helluva Boss episode "Western Energy", Stella's brother Andrealphus seems to be flirting with her a lot during their dialogue. He tells her her she's "lucky she's attractive" while explaining why her plan to have Stolas killed is a bad idea, and then calls her "my fiery vixen". Even Stella seems a little creeped out by his comments.
  • DuckTales; Magica DeSpel's partnership with her brother Poe seemed far more like an Unholy Matrimony than a brother-sister team. They gave each other pet names, plotted their schemes while sitting on thrones like a king and queen would, and used cooperative magic that required them to hold hands. Magica herself claims they "made beautiful magic together". Not helped by the fact that Poe was named after Edgar Allan Poe, whose wife was his cousin.

Real Life

  • Affection between Angelina Jolie and her brother James Haven (including some rather fond words and a kiss at the 2000 Academy Awards) raised enough scandal to feed the tabloids for the rest of the year.
  • The Veronicas play up the lesbian Twincest in a similar way t.A.T.u. did. Even when they aren't doing it on purpose though, it tends to be there.
  • Pictures of model Stephanie Seymour's 2011 trip to the beach with her son Peter prompted some interesting rumors. However, both have denied these rumors. In fact, Peter is openly gay.
  • And on the "romance is textual, but relationship is not" axis, we have Daddy/boy and Daddy/girl BDSM relationships.